Card is dying?

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Card is dying?

Postposted on Sun Sep 25, 2011 5:49 am

I have had this computer for just over 3 years now, and it looks like one of my GPUs might be going bad.

It started while I was playing the Might & Magic: Heroes VI demo. My whole computer would lock up, and I would see yellow green pixels dotting the screen.

I thought this might be a bug with the beta, since it was getting seg fault crashes as well (gotta love that 0x0000005 memory access violation).

Just in case, I installed the newest drivers from nVidia.

This freeze happened a few more times, getting slightly worse in the graphical corruption, and finally it happened outside of the game, just browsing the internet.

I suspected that maybe the GPU was overheating or something, I knew that my fans were full of dust. I finally pulled em out and cleaned out the dust, I have some funny pictures I can show you of the huge dust clumps I cleaned out (using q-tips and a can of compressed air).

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The other card was worse!

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Nice and clean afterwards!

I put everything back together and the computer got stuck while booting, just on a black screen. I reset the computer. This time I got a blue screen. Yay! After it restarted the computer worked fine, so I started browsing the internet, installed EVGA precision to monitor temps, and decided to run Heroes 6 again. I got the messed up graphics and a frozen computer again! I restarted and the graphical corruption remained, though the computer was fully useable.

GPU temps were at a constant 60 degrees btw.

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However the corruption got worse over time. I unplugged one of my gpus (actually only the fan I unplugged... oops!). A loud screech later I had only 1 GPU inside and I still had the corruption. I am going to sleep soon, but tomorrow I will switch em out and see if that fixes the problem.

Also, another form of corruption I noticed was gray boxes with random colored letters/numbers in them (if I remember correctly)

I have been playing other games recently, such as Star Wars: The Old Republic beta and I didn't have any issues, I wonder why it got messed up now :(

System:

Intel Q9450
EVGA 780i mobo
2x Zotac 8800 GT AMP

Any advice would be great! I did a quick google search and didn't find anything useful.
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Re: Card is dying?

Postposted on Sun Sep 25, 2011 7:37 am

Temps are 60c at idle? Is the fan spinning? Did you get all the dust?

Those are extremely temps, so I'd say your card is pretty much fudged.
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Re: Card is dying?

Postposted on Sun Sep 25, 2011 7:42 am

I feel your pain, as something similar happened to me years ago. Sadly, all the signs are there that your card needs to go off to silicone heaven and you should buy a new one. Generally speaking:
- Black / White pixels or flashing / corrupted textures in games indicates overheated video card ram
- Green corruption of the full screen render indicates an overheated GPU core.

Your temps for the card appear ok btw (I used to have 8800GT's in SLI - Ran at 70+ most of the time), but years of it running prolly a touch warmer than this look to have taken their toll and it's finally given up.

(And LOL at the dust. Keep a can of compressed air nearby at all times, and clean the system monthly!)
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Re: Card is dying?

Postposted on Sun Sep 25, 2011 5:08 pm

Yeah the temps are pretty normal from when I first installed them, Zotac said that they were okay running above 100 degrees. They are factory OC, and single slot coolers.

It looks like only one of the cards is dying, when I swapped em out the other one seems to work fine. I guess I will contact Zotac and see if they will replace it.

In the mean time, I do have an extra 8800 GT I got for free from nVidia. However, it came in an anti-static bag, I have no idea what brand/speed it is at...

If I use 2 different 8800 GTs, it should work in SLI as long as I match them both to the slower clock, right?
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Re: Card is dying?

Postposted on Mon Sep 26, 2011 3:17 am

ShadowTiger wrote:If I use 2 different 8800 GTs, it should work in SLI as long as I match them both to the slower clock, right?

That will be ok. If I remember correctly, Nvidia's drivers will automatically downclock the faster card of the 2 so that they both run at the same speeds. It will also reduce memory available too if one card has more video RAM than the other - You'll only be able to use the lowest of the 2 cards available memory.

Personally, I would be inclined to overclock the slower of the 2 cards up to the speed of the other. Factory based overclocks are so mild that any card out there can pretty much be overclocked right out the box to those speeds anyway with their stock coolers on. I remember those whiny little single slot coolers on my 8800GT's though, so if you can stand the noise then go for it...

Depending on what you also use your PC for, maybe you should ditch those 2 healthy 8800GT's and replace them with a single GTX 460 (or better) or something as it's a lot faster...?
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Re: Card is dying?

Postposted on Mon Sep 26, 2011 5:43 pm

Well, I am waiting to upgrade next summer, thats when the technology I want intersects with a good income level.

The overclock is not trivial, its from 600 mhz to 700 mhz, I don't think that I can just crank it up.

For now the only thing I really need power for is SWTOR, I have a huge back log of old games that I want to play so I can wait it out.

Anyways, now I need to hassle Zotac to replace my card, I am pretty sure it is under warranty... but they deleted their old database when they switched to a new website... uh... WTF!!!!!!!!!!!
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Re: Card is dying?

Postposted on Mon Sep 26, 2011 5:52 pm

Hmm, noted. A 100Mhz speed bump on an 8800GT's a bit of a stretch - If the cooler on the slower card's good enough it should be ok, but if it's that awfull single slot reference design then I understand why you may not want to push it. I don't blame you for holding out a little longer - 8800GT's in SLI are still pretty decent in DX9 based games these days - And lets face it, most games are still using it...
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Re: Card is dying?

Postposted on Fri Oct 07, 2011 6:31 pm

I just wanted to report back that Zotac is a nightmare to deal with. They deleted my account and warranty registration when they upgraded their website. At least one other person reported the same issue on their forums. They refuse to replace my card which is advertised with a "lifetime warranty" that you get if you register within 30 days. The problem is that they don't have records of my registration, and while I do have some emails from 2008 that show that I bought the card and made an account with their website, they say its not enough evidence.

Obviously these kinds of technical issues are rare and could happen to any company, but since its their fault they should take responsibility. I guess I will avoid buying Zotac products in the future.
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Re: Card is dying?

Postposted on Fri Oct 07, 2011 11:23 pm

Well, at least they still are around...my BFG 9800GTX OC card pretty much crapped out right after BFG went under...so much for that lifetime warranty.
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